the liberal narrative of the right

I want to talk about Star Wars in the context of left-wing politics for a second. It’s actually really good, maybe even better than we realize. It might actually be the best massively popular mass media franchise of the modern era - not because it is undeniably really good entertainment, but because it actually attempts to say something meaningful and positive about rebellion and change.

Many left-wing writers and critical theorists have written about a general problem that plagues mass media. In many stories, the only real movers or changers to the status quo are the villains. In other words, the task of the hero is to merely uphold the status quo against some deviant force that wants to change it. You can see this in works like Harry Potter, where the ultimate goal is really just the defeat of Voldemort and the preservation of the way things are. People that want to change things drastically are either laughed at (like Hermione with the house-elves) or are themselves villainous. This same dynamic is also true in many comic books and comic book movies - The Avengers aren’t looking to fundamentally change the structure of society. That’s what the villains want. The Avengers are supposed to defend the earth from change, not instigate change themselves.

This dynamic points to a sort of end-of-history view of things, where liberal democracy is the best anybody can hope for, and anybody attempting to change it is either worthy of derision or villainous. It propagandizes the audience to be more happy with the way things are, because every possible alternative is worse.

The other side to this particular narrative is the straight dystopia, where liberal democracy has somehow been lost, and the hope of the hero is to restore it. Even though this narrative takes a different approach, it still points to the same thing. This narrative acts as a warning to a similar end - “imagine how bad things could be, you really ought to be happy with the way things are.”

But then there is Star Wars - a story that takes place in a galaxy far far away, but is perhaps more relevant to us on earth than any other mass media franchise. In Star Wars, the heroes are the Rebellion, a rag-tag group of people fighting against an evil Empire. Right from the beginning, the changers are the heroes, not the villains. It’s the heroes that shake things up, or in many cases blow things up, and the goal of the villains is the preservation of the status quo. That’s a huge flip to the problematic narrative right out of the gate.

An argument could be made that Star Wars falls into the dystopia trap, and that the end goal of the Rebellion is merely the restoration of liberal democracy - but two huge things challenge that narrative. In the first place, Star Wars is not presented as a dystopia. In most dystopias, the dystopian environment itself is the central narrative. We are told in great detail just how bad the government is, and how bad they have made the world. Star Wars doesn’t do that. In fact, the amount of time spent on the Empire and its inner workings is minimal. The central narrative to Star Wars is instead the rebels themselves - particularly the three central heroes - and their personal journey and interactions. Their personal acts of rebellion are explained in far greater detail than any Imperial actions. Star Wars could be seen to celebrate rebellion itself, in this way. We aren’t bogged down with an explanation for why opposing the Empire is the right course of action. We are simply made to believe that resisting power itself, in any capacity, is good and should be done.

In the second place, the prequel trilogy actually did a really good job of deconstructing the trappings of liberal democracy. In the prequel trilogy, it’s the Republic that grants emergency powers to the Supreme Chancellor, essentially creating the Empire. It’s the Republic that willingly sacrificed thousands of clone troopers to the scourges of war. It’s the Republic that financed both sides of the civil war. It’s the Republic that let liberty die with thunderous applause. After the prequel trilogy, if the end goal of the Rebellion is just the restoration of that same type of Republic, the audience would not be satisfied. We believe that the Rebellion is fighting for something greater. We have to.

For this reason, the current sequel trilogy actually plays a pretty central role in the interpretation of the series. Depending on what the Resistance ultimately ends up creating, the series could come to a fantastic and satisfying conclusion, or it could stumble into the same trappings of other mass media franchises. I’m not sure if I have total faith - but I honestly have more than I normally would, just because Star Wars has been so comparatively fantastic so far. And Rogue One kept with the tradition, portraying a firmly left-wing insurgency, willing to use whatever means necessary.

That’s the tradition of Star Wars - the heroes are the rebels, the changers, the movers. We’re actually here to create something radically better. Come join us in the galaxy far far away of our wildest dreams.

Originally posted by geekybasket

buzzfeed.com
The Public Square Belongs to 4Chan
In a few short weeks, He Will Not Divide Us went from celebrity-hyped exhibition to troll playground to dead. What happened tells us everything about the future of civic space and free speech in the age of the alt-right.
By Joseph Bernstein

If you set out to design a cultural event specifically to provoke the alt-right, it would be hard to improve on “He Will Not Divide Us.” While the group contains multitudes — Trump fanatics, anti–social justice warriors, trolls, ethnic nationalists, neo-Nazis, anime experts, and every conceivable permutation thereof — the piece was expansive enough to incite them all.

Start with semantics. If nothing else, the alt-right is all about division: between nations, between races, between genders, between religions, between ideologies, and between trolls and non-trolls. “[The title] is almost daring people to divide the work,” said Ben Davis, the national art critic for artnet News. “From an art point of view, it was the point of the project, I assume.”

The artists strenuously claim the piece is nonpartisan, and that the words can be, per the introductory text, “a show of resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism, guided by the spirit of each individual participant and the community.” But the media immediately reported the work as an anti-Trump protest, and it’s sort of hard to blame them: “He Will Not Divide Us” appeared the day of the inauguration, in New York City, where Hillary Clinton won nearly 80% of the vote, at the same time as protests against Trump massed in cities throughout the world. Realistically, who was going to be chanting those words?

If the event was alt-right catnip in theory, in practice it was irresistible. The footage from the first day is an unintentional masterpiece of Bannonian propaganda: A rich, white, half-Jewish, hip, liberal movie star (and his black, second-generation movie star friend) leading an ethnically mixed crowd in a piece of performance art that doubled at times as an anti-Trump demonstration, at a New York City museum whose board includes Jeff Zucker, Jeffrey Katzenberg, a labor union leader, and a hedge fund founder.

“It feeds into the right-wing narrative about coastal elites and Hollywood liberals, Meryl Streep versus Trump,” Davis said.

Perhaps most provocatively, as far as the alt-right is concerned, “He Will Not Divide Us” was participatory and livestreamed. Threads announcing the project appeared on 4chan’s /pol/ forum and other alt-right online communities within hours of the stream going live.

Continue reading.

getting past the filter

I’ve been reading right-wing media - not all the time, because the point of the exercise is understanding and past a point it just breeds exhaustion. But my impression is that the way right-wing media interprets the protests and the outrage and the fear and anger at Trump’s presidency is something like this:

The left won a lot of battles in a row, and they got used to winning every fight they got into, so they picked fights that they couldn’t possibly really care about, just to grind our faces in the dirt. And then they lost! And we won! And they are handling this with immature hysteria and obstructionism and riots, and we basically have to wade through them to put the country back on the rails, and where we fail it’s their fault and where we succeed it proves that they’re ineffectual and intellectually bankrupt and have no tactics beyond crying and complaining and calling people racist. And they’re complaining about things they were fine with under Obama so they’re not actually sincere anyway. And they still have a stranglehold nearly everywhere, but maybe now people’ll start to see through them and we’ll have a chance to roll it back.)

(Some examples of fights we ‘couldn’t possibly really care about’: making employers cover health care plans that included contraception coverage, making bakers bake wedding cakes for gay people, letting trans people use restrooms of their choice.)

And the presence of the narrative imposes a sort of filter, where things you do that make sense within it, or reinforce it, don’t get seen by half the country. Sometimes that doesn’t matter. But sometimes it really does; sometimes I want to be able to talk to the people who voted for Trump and be heard and be understood to be saying what I’m actually saying and not just ‘blah blah liberals won and won and won and can’t handle losing and are going to call you racist no matter what racist racist racist’.

So, obviously, I think this narrative is unfair in many, many ways. But what I’m really interested in right now is, what could a person do or say in order to slip past the narrative? Because it’s, well, encompassing - narratives usually are. Peaceful protests fit into the ‘the left is all bluster and whining’ arm of it and violent protests fit into ‘the left is a danger’ arm of it and no protests fit into the ‘we are the silent majority’ arm of it. And there are battles which really are worth fighting but which are trivial and silly to people sufficiently removed from them, like fights over letting trans people use public restrooms. 

But narratives are not all-encompassing - the vocal opposition of Senator McCain to Trump’s conduct doesn’t fit into it at all, the conservative judges overturning Trump’s executive orders doesn’t fit into it very well, the testimony of veterans about why their translators saved their lives and deserve the opportunity to live here which they were promised doesn’t fit into it.

Those are, of course, all examples of conservatives who can challenge the narrative by already having credibility within it. I can’t think of a great way for a liberal to establish that credibility - emphasizing that you understand why they believe the things they believe was tried very loudly during the campaign, and I think it mostly totally failed (both at establishing that, and at going from ‘we understand each other’ to ‘the filter you’re seeing me through isn’t capturing what I want and what I actually want is reasonable and comprehensible and human’.)

I feel like one important project of the next few months is figuring out how to communicate past the filter, how to say things that aren’t easily sorted into the narrative, and how to build from there enough trust that our concerns and fear and anger are heard as concern and fear and anger, instead of being easy to round off as ‘they lost and they’re sore losers’. I want past the filter. I want to be able to make myself understood. And I do still think that there’s some way that can be achieved.

Big fan of using the term “coordinator class” to describe capitalists, because it flips the narrative on right-wingers. “Coordinator class” is a term used often by right-wingers to decry “the horrors of a socialist political class deciding what gets produced”, and it’s made all the more ironic when you consider just how much of a “coordinator class” the capitalists really are – I mean, they ultimately decide what gets produced, they control the means of production in top-down fashion, they live in isolated gated communities apart from “the rabble”, they act like they know better than the people they oppress, and they suppress movements centered on human liberation.

Pretty much every trait that right-wingers oppose in “socialism” is a trait they actively embrace in capitalism – it’s all a matter of framing.

When she is born they wrap her in the warm, woolly blanket of ‘no’s and 'cant’s so that when she grows up she learns the painful art of shrinking. Her first childish rebellious thought is “I wish I was born a boy!” as her little brows furrow in blossoming anger; and if she could discard her girlness like the cape of a superhero and be free of its claustrophobic presence she would have. She is told because she is of the people who live in war that this is normal- this daily internal dying. She learns how to be less so that those lesser than her feel tall. She learns fulfillment, even pride in the shrinking. She learns the words “shame” and “honour” before she learns the word “I” and she learns that she is a walking disaster, temptation and aversion, a walking threat, dirt walking for what may be, what could be. So she learns that what could be and what may be are more important than what can be and what should be. So she learns hiding, shrinking, fading, fasting, existing without being seen, being without making a sound, surviving each minute perfecting the profound art of absolute stillness. Even as she grows to believe that the ache of her anxious, nervous heart- the rabid, trapped fluttering of her rapidly beating heart against her rib cage- is girlhood.

She grows up hearing epic love stories of Shirin and Ferhad, Mem u zin, and Layla and Majnun by night but during the day wakes to hearing stories of honor killings and self immolation and grows to believe that violence- the silencing, swift slice of death are normal daily acts of existence like breathing and sleeping - for women, only for women. Prophetically, looms omnious the awareness of the impeding doom of fading girlhood into ill-fated womenhood. She learns that love in her world is violence and escape. Its death and freedom and its the ominous in the loving paternal advice of chastity; its the unshakable clutch in the loving maternal guidance to accept that what has been will always be, will always be until “will always be” echoes in the aching corners of her tender, struggling, fading spirit. She learns cognitive dissonance as she internalizes violence while her rebellious spirit, like a withering fading flame slams itself against the prison complex of her body and mind and says “wait, wait, wait. Survive. Your day will come. It will come…” So as she perfects the art of silence, the art of internalised inertia, she struggles, breath after breath, fantasizing grand narratives of bleak self liberation. And she waits, breath after breath, for the moment- even as she doesn’t recognize that as she was perfecting the art of dying she still breathed.

She still breathed.

-Hawzhin Azeez- The Middle Eastern Feminist

anonymous asked:

If global warming was actually a threat then those liberal Yahoo's in California would actually be doing something about it. Have you seen the smog over there? These liberals just keep pushing this narrative to make money at the expense of people's jobs. But hey, liberals just don't care about facts

Saying “Liberals just don’t care about the facts” in the same breath that you deny climate change. We’ve reached maximum density guys!

California *has* done “something about it”. Actually, they’ve done a whollata’ of something about it. California has the third lowest greenhouse emissions per capita of any state, right behind New York and D.C.  They have an entire department devoted to nothing but researching and taking action against climate change, with an explicit goal of reducing carbon emissions to pre 1980 levels by 2020, a goal which they are on track to succeed. They also are on the forefront of a states rights issue in terms of environmental laws, threatening to take the federal government to court over Trump’s rollbacks of Obama era legislations, and preventing them from making their own environmental regulations. They have also recently instituted some groundbreaking laws (for the US), such as banning plastic bags, plastic microbeads, and divesting from coal.

All these regulations are working too. Here is a graph of California’s emissions over the previous ten years:

As you can see, we are approaching the 2020 goal of reducing emissions to pre-1980 levels, and so far CO2 emissions have been reduced by almost 100 Metric TONS, or 20% in the past 10 years. Their next goal is to reduce emissions by 40% more by 2030, a goal that is achievable now that the worst abusers of greenhouse gasses have been reigned in and the environmental protection infrastructure is built up. 

anonymous asked:

Have you read "A Peoples History of the United States" by Howard Zinn? While not explicitly socialist it does offer a great overview of America's history of Imperialist policies, fanatic defense of capitalism, numerous human rights atrocities, and the inability of the liberal left to offer any real change. It's a great starting point for understanding just how skewed the popular narrative of American history really is, a great cleanse after years of public school history classes.

I highly recommend that book to anybody reading this 👍👍👍 It’s an accessible rebuttal to all the bullshit we learned in school over the years.

With Pride coming up...

I have a couple of thoughts. The first is that for a long time now Pride has felt increasingly co-opted by corporations, neoliberalism and just assimilation into the status quo which is all around Not Good. 

With that said, this is the first Pride under Trump’s Presidency. I think that it will be an important symbol and any there will hopefully be more connection to the resistance and rebellion that started Pride. Every opportunity to reclaim the narrative of Pride should be made (Queer Liberation, Not Assimilation. Can’t buy our Pride, etc). But, homophobes, transphobes and bigots of all kinds are increasingly emboldened. Be safe. Stick together. And remember the bravery of the men and women at Stonewall who fought for their rights and their lives.

  • Right-libertarian: Take the red pill and question society's ideas about government.
  • Leftist: Absolutely. Question the liberal idea that it represents the people's interests, question the conservative idea that militarism and nationalism are good, and question the right-libertarian idea that stratified capitalism reinforced by state violence is the only possible system. Question male domination, white supremacy, ableism, the very ideological foundations that shape our society. The whole point of "taking the red pill" is that it's supposed to lead you to conclusions that might be difficult to accept and that are supposed to shake your preconceived notions to the core, and right-libertarianism and individual right-libertarians question nothing about society other than a few taken-for-granted liberal notions about welfare capitalism versus laissez-faire capitalism. Seriously -- your ideology and its accompanying "above the fray" red pill narrative are beyond farcical. Read some conflict theory and then you might be taken more seriously on that front.
  • Right-libertarian: But....but Murray Rothbard said it would make me edgy....=/
"[The political Right in the US is] racist; it's armed; it’s hostile; it’s unspeakable."

This is a statement by Bernardine Dohrn, a left-wing domestic terrorist responsible for a wave of bombings across the US in the 1970 and 80′s. 

She, together with her husband are former leaders of the Weather Underground terrorist organization and afterward worked as professors at the Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Illinois.

Let me be clear. These are actual violent terrorists. They bombed buildings. They KILLED PEOPLE. Then they got jobs teaching at liberal universities. The cancer goes deep.

Political violence is a tactic that is accepted by the mainstream Left. This was true 40 years ago, and it’s true today. 

Organized violence is something left wing radical organizations are good at. I know the narrative is that they’re all a bunch of pansies and the Right is populated by badasses with guns. But that’s sweeping the radical left’s long history of effective violence under the rug.

The narrative that millennials are all more progressive than prior generations really needs to go. The fact that a lot of millennials have actually been turned to exceptionally far right politics shouldn’t even be that big of a surprise. After all, how many teens spent a lot of time on 4chan, or analogous sites full of violence against women and people of color?

The reality is that younger people are all more likely to be radicalized, to avoid the mainstream liberalism of our obviously failing society. That can either mean going left or going right. It isn’t much of a surprise that a lot of white men’s reactions to our uncertain contemporary situation is to make affirming their privilege the explicit and central point again. Still, getting well thought out arguments and educational material out there for more and more people to learn about socialism seems more important now than ever. We all need to affirm that we stand against all oppression and exploitation, and that we fight for real, material freedom.

I’m not going to share the MSM coverage as they are pushing their own narrative and I know their bias. So here is Alt Media footage of the event, remember there are 2 sides to every story


“If somebody’s really wrong then let them speak and rebut with reason and evidence; that’s called civilization, everything else is barbarism.“ —  Stefan Molyneux  


So the seeming colorlessness of these competing political visions [communitarianism and contractarian liberalism] is revealed as white. They share common taken-for-granted assumptions even in their contestation with each other. … [As a person of color,] [y]our moral equality and personhood are certainly not recognized; you are not equal before the law; and the state is not seeking to protect but to encroach upon your interests of the white population. This is not at all the anomaly but rather the norm. So your whole political orientation as a person of color in modernity is oppositional in way that the white political orientation is not, and this has obvious implications for your normative priorities. … Any bracketing of this history and this input will in effect mean - even if it is not advertised as such (and these days, of course, it will not be advertised as such) - that it is the white experience of modernity, the experience of Europeans and Euro-Americans, that is tacitly shaping the narrative. Whether conceived of as community or as ‘contracting’ population, both visions of the polity presume its whiteness.
— 

Charles W. Mills, Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism (2017), 196

On the impact (or lack thereof) of his The Racial Contract:

And I think the objective answer that has to be faced is this: close to zero. I don’t think I can truly say that the course of mainstream (‘white’) political philosophy has in any way been affected by the book’s publication (191).

NPR is one of those “let’s show both sides” liberal outlets that ends up promoting right wing propaganda because that’s the other side.

This is just like Laci Green’s attempt to avoid criticism by remaining “in the middle”.

Instead of being terrified of criticism, maybe actually be confident in your beliefs and report on a factual basis.

I used to be one of these people, and although I’m not too open about my views irl, I’d never try and twist my narrative just to appeal to some idiots who ignore facts in the first place.

anonymous asked:

Hey, your post on homonationalism has changed my opinions on the subject. I just wanted to thank you and let you know you made a difference.

Thanks! Homonationalism is a phenomenon analyzed and coined by Jasbir Puar. She originally wrote about it in her book “Terrorist Assemblages”. In 2013 she published an article titled “Rethinking Homonationalism”  . Here is a quote that I think summarizes what it is: 

“ Homonationalism, thus, is not simply a synonym for gay racism, or another way to mark how gay and lesbian identities became available to conservative political imaginaries; it is not another identity politics, not another way of distinguishing good queers from bad queers, not an accusation, and not a position. It is rather a facet of modernity and a historical shift marked by the entrance of (some) homosexual bodies as worthy of protection by nation-states, a constitutive and fundamental reorientation of the relationship between the state, capitalism, and sexuality. To say that this historical moment is homonational, where homonationalism is understood as an analytics of power, then, means that one must engage it in the first place as the condition of possibility for national and transnational politics. Part of the increased recourse to domestication and privatization of neoliberal economies and within queer communities, homonationalism is fundamentally a deep critique of lesbian and gay liberal rights discourses and how those rights discourses produce narratives of progress and modernity that continue to accord some populations access to citizenship—cultural and legal—at the expense of the delimitation and expulsion of other populations. The narrative of progress for gay rights is thus built on the back of racialized others, for whom such progress was once achieved, but is now backsliding or has yet to arrive. I have thus theorized homonationalism as an assemblage of de- and reterritorializing forces, affects, energies, and movements. While the project arose within the post 9/11 political era of the United States, homonationalism is also an ongoing process, one that in some sense progresses from the civil rights era and does not cohere only through 9/11 as a solitary temporal moment.“ 

So homonationalism is not an “opinion” or a facet of “discourse” but rather a cultural and geopolitical phenomenon that sees its moment in the post-9/11 era. 

anonymous asked:

The Dany issue is definitely complicated, and I wouldn't say I was anti-Dany at all. But how do you feel about arguments that are more targeted towards obsessive fans who oversimplify her Meereen narrative and think she'll be The Best Queen Ever, when the episode does highlight some problems in her leadership style/decision-making choices? (The 'If I look back I'm lost' idea for one. It protects her from everything she's been through, but it also blinds her, and I think the Meereen episode-

-highlights that. Like I said, I’m not anti-Dany, but I do think that she’s made mistakes, and I think the abrupt liberation of Meereen was one of them. The liberation in itself was morally right, but the execution was perhaps not ideal, and I think it’s a mistake for Dany to learn from. She can’t blindly go on telling herself ‘if I look back, I’m lost’ at a certain point she MUST look back and evaluate the decisions she’s made and not just blunder on with them. Which is what I think the Meereen arc, and her final ADWD chapter in particular (with the ghosts of her past returning to her) is supposed to set up for her future? I’ve lost the thread of this a little, I apologise. I suppose I was just trying to say that I consider Dany to be flawed, and some of her decisions to be flawed in execution (though justified in intention) and think that it’s right and fair to be critical, especially when so many stans just yell about how ‘badass’ those moments were and ignore the consequences.

oh man, anyone who thinks dany is the Best Queen Ever or that she hasn’t made some blunders are not paying attention. This is where the show fails and flops completely, imo. It focused more on faux empowering moments like Dany burning down that Dothraki religious site (bad bad bad) and the fighting pits of Meereen and the arrival at Dragonstone that it just sort of seems to drive home this narrative of Look At This Badass Queen which misses the point.

Her Meereen narrative in the books is so goddamn complicated that even GRRM, who wrote it, had trouble parsing it and figuring it out. There are so many layers to her Slaver’s Bay arc, but such a limited perspective. Her failings in the book are well documented and well highlighted, because this was never going to be easy. No one would ever believe that Dany just walked into Slaver’s Bay with her dragons and abolished slavery and fixed the class imbalance and everything was perfect, the end. There had to be struggle, and strife, and problems, or else it would be unrealistic and boring.

And you know, GRRM *could* have written an easy way out. He could have had Dany hop from one city to the next, taking what she wanted before she set sail to Westeros. He didn’t because it makes no sense for Dany’s character– her intention was not to colonize or exploit. Her empathy for the slaves in Slaver’s Bay came from a personal place, and she cared enough to see it through. When the new government she placed in Astapor fell shortly after she left, she learned from that mistake and chose to stay in Meereen, to take the time to stabilize it and try to bring peace and equality. She even marries Hizdhar zo Loraq, who she does not like at all, to try and bring that peace. If Dany didn’t care, she would have not bothered to do any of this and just continued on to Westeros. GRRM knew his own character– he knew he could not write an easy way out, that it had to be true to Daenerys and to reality.

This Badass Queen that the show tries to push isn’t the books’ reality. She is a struggling queen, a young queen, an ill advised queen, a desperate queen, a queen who is in above her head. Her moments of empowerment don’t come from being a queen who exerts her power, it comes from her own private reassurances and her own hope.

As you note, at one point, Dany will have to look back. She has used this coping mechanism far too much– first for small and personal matters, but now for large and far-reaching ones too. She thinks looking back will make her lost, but I’d argue that she is already lost and what she needs to do now is look back, stop lying to herself, and to stop repressing those hard feelings and memories. She comes so, so close to doing just that at the end of ADWD– but she pulls back, and returns to telling herself “if I look back, I’m lost”.

If you look at my “serene watches got” tag I voiced many frustrations with how Dany was written and portrayed this season (along with Jon, Arya, Sansa, Ellaria… the whole season was a mess). It focused so much on those big and badass moments, then floundered when it came down to political and personal matters– on every front, for every storyline, not just Dany’s. GoT is a show that’s focused on action and those big shocking twists. Dany, having dragons, is such an easy character to use for those scenes. All they have to do is have her burn shit up or get carried by a sea of brown and black bodies or swoop in to save Jon’s dumb ass on a dragon and it’s a wrap. Badass Dragon Queen is basically the most she’ll ever be on that show. There’s no nuance there at all.

All I can advise is to start separating the show and the books, and the fans as well. Show-only folks are gonna see something different from those of us who have read the books. It’s going to be frustrating for you (I know it is for me!) to see show fan reactions when you know it’s wrong or deeper than in the books. Watching the briefly-lived Dorne plot damn near ripped my heart out lol. Ellaria’s character was unrecognizable, the Sand Snakes killed their own cousin and uncle, and Ellaria the Evil Bisexual Brown Woman killed Myrcella with a kiss. It was so bad and the other plotlines fared only marginally better.

tl;dr Badass Queen Dany is a show-only myth and it’s way more complicated than the show made it seem

There’s been a narrative that has been building, since the Gingrich revolution at least, that has gained a great deal of prominence in recent years. It’s a narrative of conservative oppression.

The narrative goes something like this: 

The left has been utterly dominant in US society since the mid-1960s. Left-wing elites have hijacked America, and molded it into a society that is antithetical to at least half the population. The country has been swiftly moving leftward since then, with political victories for the right such as the election of Reagan and the Gingrich revolution of 1994 serving to only temporarily slow the leftward drift. With the rise of social justice and political correctness, conservatives are now oppressed. 

Conservatives cannot speak their reasonable opinions in public without fear of losing their jobs unless it is couched in the most conciliatory, moderate language, if that. On a host of topics, from religion to climate change to terrorism to immigration to sexual morality, conservative viewpoints and lifestyles are no longer respected, at best, in polite society. The left has a complete stranglehold on academia and public schools, the civil service, silicon valley corporations, and the media, and so to speak out against them is to harm one’s career prospects, to be excluded from high status jobs and events, and to risk the ire of raving “SJW” mobs online and on college campuses.

While left wing constituencies, such as young women and blacks, might have some legitimate grievances, they are often exaggerated in order to be used as a weapon against conservative constituencies, who are the real unacknowledged victims of society. 

Now, many if not most people on the right would not use this exact language. The right generally looks down upon people who see themselves as victims, so right-wing constituencies rarely explicitly acknowledge that they see themselves as victims.

But it seems very true to me that right-wing constituencies–rural (white) people, conservative Christians, whites with less education, and culturally red-tribe people–are increasingly seeing themselves as oppressed minority groups.

Indeed, this narrative has become so powerful that even some people on the left are starting to believe it.

I think it is powerful because there are grains of truth to it. But I think the narrative is incomplete in a way that makes it very misleading.

It’s misleading because it ignores all the ways that the right does have a great deal of power in society still. 

The right basically controls all the political positions in the federal government, and controls most state governments, and indeed various structural factors give the right an edge in national elections (the electoral college, small rural states getting as many Senators as California, gerrymandering and liberal clustering in cities for the House). 

Law enforcement and the military both lean very much to the right and are some of the most trusted institutions in society to this day, and have used this power to hinder liberal big-city mayors.

While its power is waning somewhat, religion is still one of the most dominant cultural forces in large swaths of the country, and it’s still probably the case that an open atheist/agnostic could not be elected President or indeed to any prominent elected position in most places in this country. 

For all the talk of left-wing dominance of the media, the top cable news and talk radio shows are mostly if not all all conservative, and far-right websites like Breitbart have rose to great prominence. 

While elite colleges and high status industries like tech and entertainment do lean leftward, these institutions still (with a few high profile exceptions) try to go out of their way not to offend conservatives. See all the colleges that try very hard to have a significant number of conservative speakers on campus, for example, and how most Hollywood movies tend to avoid directly addressing controversial social and political issues. See how social media companies try as hard as they can to be steadfastly apolitical.

And conservatives have powerful industries where they dominate, like energy, and their own set of rich powerful high status people (the Koch Brothers, for instance).

Academia may lean left, but the right has built up a large alternative to academia in the myriad of right-wing think tanks, reading groups, institutes, and so on that have come into existence. And academia’s left-wing lean can be exaggerated, conservatives have significant representation in departments of engineering, business, law, political science, and economics. 

And all this is mostly on cultural issues too. On economic and foreign policy, the country has arguably moved rightward in recent decades. Obama’s “radical” healthcare plan is pretty much the 1990s Heritage Foundation plan, for instance.

So this idea of conservatives as some sort of oppressed minority doesn’t make a whole lot of sense once you actually start to think about it. So why does it seem so true to so many people?

2

We are consumed with Islamophobia, and the Islamophobia we’re consumed with is Islamophobia phobia. We would rather die–we would literally rather die–than offend. We would rather die than stray from the narrative. Right now, we have a culture in our country that doesn’t like us, that wants to replace us. But, our obsession with intolerance includes the intolerant. Our obsession with multiculturalism includes a monoculture that wants to replace us. The Liberal Left narrative has said, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ and they have chosen the Islamic radical right–whatever you want to call them, they’re just devout Muslims at the end of the day–they’ve chosen them as their bedfellows, and we keep sitting, screaming, 'They’re going to kill you first!’ Hey, gays, we’re the only guys that like you. Now, I’m a Conservative, I’m pretty uptight, I’m not bananas about gays, but we have a 2.0 in our religion, we’ve updated it. So, I want us all to recognize that the West is the best, and America is the greatest. And, yeah, homosexuality is a little weird, but we’re the most advanced. And, as a straight man standing here with a gay man, I would just like to say fuck you, Islam!Gavin McInnes

Milo Yiannopoulos and Gavin McInnes outside of Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL., June 15, 2016.

A lot of White liberals don’t have a backbone. I’m sad to say that. 

They’re here for legalizing pot, making sure you “spread love and not hate” and are the biggest people crying all night when their lord and savior Hillary Clinton, doesn’t win the election. They’re always confused as to why the “world doesn’t get along”, they love walking all over your narrative and making sure you don’t have a seat on the table when they make sure they’re “defending you”. 

They think we don’t know any better, and if anything, should try to conform to their whitewashed understanding of freedoms, and liberalism. 

But they’ll never show up when times are hard, like right now. 

They aren’t going to be at the short end of the stick, when Mexicans or Muslim immigrants are deported. They’re not going to be here when Black folks get assaulted and called names by citizens and Police alike. They’re not going to show up and stop their “disenfranchised” Trump supporter family members from making terrible decisions and voting for a man that will further perpetuate the poverty and corruption so rampant already in this country. 

They’re here to put on a superficial cape and artificial layer of liberal values when convenient, and will even show up at rallies and protests to make sure they can vocalize themselves or text you saying how sorry they are this happened. 

The largest institution of White liberalism is the DNC, and this election has exposed it for the elitist garbage it is, and is has become so transparent and so obvious at this point. 

What we need is grit, and we need it from the ground up. 

There is no captivating need for many White liberals to stand up against Racism and injustice, outside of a theoretical politics, and trying to draw up safe spaces and create semantics out of everything. I’m not sick of political correctness, don’t take me wrong, I’m sick of the condescending and lackadaisical attitude that many White liberals seem to have, and yet their refusal to pass the mantle to people that are regularly disenfranchised and discriminated against. 

We need to take this into our own hands quite frankly if we are going to see change. 

anonymous asked:

Honestly, tumblr is weird. What Isak is saying in the clip is probably what the average Norwegian thinks about islam. It is an opinion based on fear, ignorance and manipulation. The writers are giving a female teenage Muslim character a national platform, that reaches everyone on freaking Scandinavia, to discredit those opinions. To state that she's an individual with a choice ...

… Skam is not about providing perfect representation for everyone. It’s about pushing Norwegian society and teenagers their prejudices and ignorant opinions to their faces, making those prejudices fall apart, and giving them a chance to change their minds an grow. The clip is confronting people with the fact that Muslim values and liberal values are not opposed to each other. Is giving Sana a voice, and is giving Isak the opportunity to grow and change his mind. I loved it, to be honest

hi so. i agree with the first comment! i’m sure this is what the average white person thinks about islam. it’s a shitty opinion, and i think that we may agree on that. the problem is that sana wasn’t given a chance to discredit his opinion. the narrative was set up in a way that made it seem like isak was right. i would fully be in support of this clip if sana had told him what it’s really like to be a muslim woc - because, yes, i agree that skam’s job isn’t to show you perfect depictions of people. and yes that’s an opinion that most 17 year old white boys have. but in the context of the clip, he was right, and she was wrong. and that makes me incredibly uncomfortable. 

in isak’s view of the world, marginalized folks have the burden of educating white people. and that’s not?? okay?? racism isn’t about white people feelings, and making this clip be about white people wanting to “learn more” is incredibly damaging to young people. telling them that they may just be making racism up in their heads is incredibly damaging to young people. google exists lmao. white people need to learn how to use it. you may not think asking dumb questions is racist, but it’s still incredibly uncomfortable, and is often tied to underlying racism. like, i’m always expecting to give the “asian opinion” or “queer opinion” in any class discussion where i’m the minority, and i shouldn’t have the burden of speaking for an entire identity. 

in this clip, sana is made to feel that her view on racism is wrong. she is told this by a white man, who has never experienced racism. that’s not okay with me.